It’s late. You finally get the key in the door, you open it and come into your house and you're so happy to be home. It's been a long day and a fun night but now it's time to pour yourself into bed.

Bed and home have never felt so wonderful! SCREECH! STOP!

Does this seem like a familiar scenario? It probably does, however, what is the most important thing that you forgot to do? Take off your make-up!

We may be too exhausted to scrub off the grime from the day but this is the most important step that we can take for good skin care.

So, what do we do? We cut corners. We just love those disposable makeup removers and face cleanser wipes but are things that seem too good to be true, in actuality, too good to be true?

Having that cute little package that you just pull one wipe out at a time next to your bed makes you pat yourself on the back because it seems like you are respecting your skin by removing the day’s dirt and makeup but in reality what is really being left behind on your skin?

Of course, these wipes do include makeup removers and face cleansers which is our goal to use at night, however with traditional cleansers and removers we do the final step of rinsing them off our face.

With the wipes, we are leaving behind a concoction of swirled together cleansers, chemicals, and the rest of the day’s evidence.

Our Skin: The Problems with Using Facial Cleansing Wipes

Why You Shouldn't Use Makeup Remover Wipes by Kiki and Josie

These cleansers, because they are so convenient and packaged in a certain way to have a long shelf-life also include other chemicals that can be irritating or drying to our face.

Amber Rambharose from Glamour addressed the dangers of facial wipes in their article, “Sorry, But Makeup Wipes Are the Actual Worst”.  

Emulsifiers and preservatives are also mixed in with the cleansing ingredients and these can be very harsh to our skin.

These are not found in traditional cleansers that we rinse off of our face.

One of the biggest preservatives, used to extend shelf-life in makeup removing wipes is formaldehyde.

This preservative is also considered a carcinogen. According to Huffington Post:

"Check ingredients, watch out for formaldehyde-releasing chemicals used as preservatives, like your standard makeup wipe sold at CVS, which contains 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol (this chemical releases very low levels of formaldehyde). Dr. Kraffert recommends you choose wipes which use phenoxyethanol instead."

When selecting your wipes and even your skin care, look for these ingredients to avoid:

  • Sodium lauryl sulfate
  • BHA
  • Triclosan and Triclocarban
  • Aminophenol, Diaminobenzene, Phenylenediamine (Coal Tar)
  • Parabens
  • Polyethylene/PEGs
  • Retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, retinoic acid and retinol
  • Petroleum distillates
  • Oxybenzone

Fragrances that are also added to the wipes are another irritant that can cause redness and irritation, especially to sensitive skin types.  

Remember our skin is the largest organ of our body and when putting dangerous chemicals over our open pores, the absorption is immediately taken into our system.

Are the harsh chemicals the only thing we have to be worried about?

Well if you consider protecting the planet as one of your goals in life, then there are other things to consider when using makeup remover wipes.

Our Planet: The Problems with Using Facial Cleansing Wipes

Why You Shouldn't Use Makeup Remover Wipes by Kiki and Josie

According to Allie at Unidays, "I’m pretty sure that none of us even had an inkling that our easy to use cleansing solutions contained up to 60% non-biodegradable plastic. We’re literally killing the environment one swipe at a time. Why did nobody tell me?"

According to the BBC, 93% of blocked sewers in the UK were caused by wet wipes. Over 5,000 washed up on the shores of the Thames last month and this needs to stop.

The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs announced last week that they’ll be banning all single-use plastics in their 25-year plan.

This includes our beloved face wipes. Whilst 25 years seems like a super long time, we all need to be taking action now and reducing the harm that our beauty habits have been having on the planet."

The synthetic fibers that make up makeup remover wipes prevent them from being compostable or recyclable. After just one use, they head to the landfill or down the sewer.

Because of these fibers, facial cleansing wipes do not break down and represent a large percentage of non-biodegradable waste on our planet.

Many labels on disposable wipes from baby to makeup removal and facial cleansing wipes say “disposable or flushable”.

This simply is not true. There are incidences all around the world from the Thames to South Carolina of huge sewer blockages. The one in the Thames took 3 weeks to get unblocked!

They do not disintegrate and many with a plastic base are not biodegradable. So, please, if you do choose to wipe, throw them in the garbage. Even though at the garbage dump they will cause problems but not block sewages.

The best bet is to reduce using wipes and when you do, find a biodegradable one and throw it in the trash.

According to Earth 911, “On-the-go wet wipe users often end up tossing their used wipes into the environment. A beach clean-up done by the Marine Conservation Society discovered a 50 percent increase in wet wipes littering U.K. beaches between 2013 and 2014.

Wet wipes that find their way into the oceans can be fatal for marine animals, commonly settling in their stomachs and leading to starvation. It is clear that wet wipes are quickly becoming a leading environmental pollutant.”

So, are we really doing ourselves justice by using disposable wipes for their convenience when we're just too tired to go through our nightly routine?

The Difference Between Makeup Remover Wipes and Facial Cleansing Wipes

Why You Shouldn't Use Makeup Remover Wipes by Kiki and Josie

There is a myth that a wipe is a wipe. Depending on the purpose of the wipe, the outcome on your face afterward can be surprising.

Makeup remover pads or wipes can even be divided into eye makeup remover wipes and regular makeup remover wipes. The eye area is a delicate area that needs very gentle emulsifying and often oily ingredients to break down makeup without drying out that sensitive skin.

Makeup remover wipes can be “tougher” to get out ground in makeup and slough off dead skin cells but this is not a good idea for the delicate eye area. And then we have facial cleansing wipes to remove all of the residues from the makeup remover wipes.

When we correctly use each product for its purpose, we realize there is much waste coming from an at-least-twice-a-day routine.

The Solutions: Selecting the Correct Kind of Facial Cleansing Wipes

Now we are not trying to terrify you from the Big Bad Facial Wipe. We also recognize that there are times that makeup removing wipes are the only answer such as in the car, camping, at the gym, traveling, etc.

The way that we can protect ourselves more from the damage these wipes can do is to rinse our face, even with bottled water, afterward.

In the end to truly take care of your face, you need to rinse off even after using a wipe. So why not avoid the damage to your skin and planet by using our suggested alternatives for the best face wipe for the best possible skin care.


There are companies out there that are conscientious of our fight for flawless skin and also to take care of the planet that we are currently living on. We wanted to leave you with some options for when the wipe is the only option.

Simple Facial Cleansing Wipes claim to be softer than silk and will whisk away dirt, impurities, makeup, and even waterproof mascara without irritating or drying our skin, even hydrating it.

They won the Allure’s Best of Beauty Award in 2016. Dermatologist tested and approved. Ophthalmologist tested. Hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic.

To find the best biodegradable types you can go to an article by Independent, 7 Best Biodegradable Face Wipes to Remove Your Makeup.

They recommend Yes To Primrose Oil 2-in-1 Facial Wipes, RMS Beauty Ultimate Makeup Remover Wipes, The Body Shop Vitamin E Gentle Facial Cleansing Wipes and a few more options.

We still recommend to rinse afterward and if you are outside or in the car carry a bottle of purified water to give your face a once over.  

Why You Shouldn't Use Makeup Remover Wipes

In selecting wipes, you will also want to consider your skin type. There are several acne facial cleansing wipes and oil wipes, such as The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wipes.

Charcoal is also making its place in the beauty world for its antimicrobial and deep cleansing properties for oily and acne-prone skin.

Why You Shouldn't Use Makeup Remover Wipes

Another popular alternative is yes to tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Facial Wipes which are 95% natural and also vegan. They are formulated without Parabens, SLS, and Silicones.

Another great non-wipe but still an easy option is to use Micellar Water with a natural cloth or cleansing pad. We featured this wonder product in a previous blog about facial cleansers.

This wonder product was also featured by Allure. Micellar Water is purified water with molecules of hydrating agents which act as magnets to pull the impurities out of the skin instead of scrubbing them off.  

This makes it much easier to clean and emulsify dirt and makeup. It is great for dry skin due to the hydrating ingredients such as glycerin. With Micellar Water there is no need to rinse afterward.

Why You Shouldn't Use Makeup Remover Wipes by Kiki and Josie

The Cleansing Micellar Water by Le Mer is an excellent option if you can afford it but Micellar Water is also available in drug stores and Walmart. L’Oreal’s Micellar Cleansing Water is an excellent option that is more economical.

Our Fav: The Makeup Remover Glove

The one that is in the top notch for us is the Kiki & Josie Makeup Remover Glove. Its microfiber is advanced technology for ridding your precious facial skin of impurities, dirt, and makeup.

The microloops help to whisk away dead skin cells and makeup, even waterproof mascara, without product. It is earth friendly, skin friendly, travel-friendly, and wallet-friendly.

If you choose to be loyal to your fav skin care product, the Kiki & Josie glove also works with your skincare line. It is re-washable and lasts up to three years! Best of all, you won’t make waste when you use it.

These tiny loops manage to break the surface tension that binds oil and makeup to the skin's surface, gently hooking the oil and removing debris.

All you need to do is add water to the glove and let the fibers hook the dirt/makeup from the pores. The glove design sets it apart from makeup remover towels because the glove design makes it more comfortable to use than trying to uncomfortably grip a traditional bulky towel.

The Best Makeup Remover Glove by Kiki and Josie

Click here to shop the Kiki and Josie Makeup Glove Collection. 

The Makeup Remover Glove is a great alternative to facecloths, which harbor bacteria, and cotton pads which can contain irritating silicone/wood fibers. Not to mention makeup wipes which are made with chemicals harmful to the skin.

They come in a variety of styles and colors that are so completely adorable you will want several.

In the end to truly take care of your, face you need to rinse off even after using a wipe. So why not avoid the damage to your skin and planet by using our alternatives for the best skin care possible.

It may seem overwhelming at first, but in reality it is just about educating yourself about the situation and making the right choices when you go to buy.

Our skin’s glow is the first impression we give to someone, isn’t it worth a few more minutes at the sink each night to give it the best care?